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SPORTS
April 17, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers took a major step Tuesday to solidify their defense - for the present and the future. They signed Andrew MacDonald, a prospective unrestricted free agent, to a six-year, $30 million deal, and came to terms with Shayne Gostisbehere on an entry-level contract that will start next season. MacDonald, 27, who led the NHL with 242 blocked shots, was acquired from the Islanders last month for minor-league forward Matt Mangene, a third-round pick in this year's draft, and a second-rounder in 2015.
SPORTS
April 17, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Staff Writer
IN SIX SEASONS with two teams, Jakub Voracek has yet to skate off the ice at Madison Square Garden a happy man. Wayne Simmonds has the same lack of positive vibe over the same amount of seasons, so maybe they are not exactly the right people to analyze why the Flyers have lost eight straight games in the storied building despite what appears to be a parity of talent between the teams over that span. Then, again, who better? "We just haven't kept it simple enough," Voracek said yesterday after practice.
SPORTS
April 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SCRATCHING his head, Ken Hitchcock pored over the video from his Blues' 4-1 loss to the Flyers on March 22 on his laptop and counted. The former NHL coach of the year sat back astonished with his findings. "I counted five separate times where the Flyers' defensemen started from behind our forwards at their goal line and beat us up the ice on the rush," a stunned Hitchcock said in St. Louis 2 weeks back. "Five times. " Mark Streit was at the forefront of the attack. After a lengthy adjustment period, Streit's offensive mindset has melted into the consciousness of his fellow defensemen, turning the Flyers' blue line into a scoring threat again.
SPORTS
April 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
DEPENDING ON how you interpret the tone of general manager Paul Holmgren and coach Craig Berube, goaltender Steve Mason might not be ready for Game 1 of the Flyers' first-round series with the Rangers tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. Either that, or the Flyers prefer to keep their opponent guessing with gamesmanship. Mason practiced for nearly 20 minutes yesterday before a planned exit from the ice whisked him into video review and meetings. Holmgren said Mason, still suffering from the ill effects of a collision with Jayson Megna in Pittsburgh on Saturday, was out of the training facility a short time later and "receiving treatment.
SPORTS
April 17, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
NOW THE proud owner of a sparkling national championship ring with little left to accomplish at the collegiate level, the lure of the NHL was just too big for Shayne Gostisbehere to ignore. Gostisbehere, the Flyers' 2012 third-round pick, agreed to terms yesterday on a 3-year, entry-level deal just 3 days removed from helping Union College win its first NCAA crown, on Wells Fargo Center ice. He was named the Frozen Four's most outstanding player after finishing with one goal, four assists over the two games.
SPORTS
April 16, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kimmo Timonen had just finished an interview with a Finnish television crew last week and was in a pensive but happy mood. The Flyers' sturdy little defenseman was asked if it gave him more motivation to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs because he may retire after they end. "It does," he said. "But I haven't decided anything yet. I want to play these playoffs and see how I feel. I just want to put that decision behind me and focus on the games we have here. " Starting Thursday in New York, the Flyers face the Rangers in an intriguing opening-round series.
SPORTS
April 16, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SCOTT HARTNELL will pay for his stick-swinging incident on Sunday afternoon. Luckily for him, the hit from the NHL's Department of Player Safety will be on his wallet - and not the Flyers' lineup for Game 1 of their first-round series in New York against the Rangers. Hartnell was fined $5,000 yesterday for spearing Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore. He received a 5-minute major on the play and an automatic game misconduct. It was half the maximum fine ($10,000) he could have received.
SPORTS
April 16, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers are cautiously optimistic that goalie Steve Mason will play in the playoff opener Thursday night against the New York Rangers. "I feel he will," general manager Paul Holmgren said Monday afternoon, "but you never know. We'll see how he feels in the morning" Tuesday. Mason was hurt in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Penguins' Jayson Megna knocked Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald into the 6-foot-4 goalie, snapping his head and neck back before he fell to the ice. Mason remained in the game for the final 3 minutes, 33 seconds of the second period before he was replaced by Ray Emery.
SPORTS
April 15, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
If the regular season is a barometer, the Flyers and New York Rangers will have a tight-checking, low-scoring series when they meet in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Amtrak series starts with games Thursday and Easter Sunday in New York. The Rangers have the stronger defense, the Flyers have the better attack. "We don't have to worry as much about them as ourselves," Flyers winger Matt Read said after scoring his 22d goal in a season-ending 6-5 shootout loss to Carolina on Sunday.
SPORTS
April 15, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SCOTT HARTNELL said he is "not a Las Vegas oddsmaker," but teammate Kimmo Timonen has a pretty good idea where the money will be flowing in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Hint: Not many will be giving the Flyers much of a chance against the New York Rangers. "No question, they're going to be favorites," Timonen said. "They're really quick. They're smart. They're obviously a really good team. I won't say it's going to be easy, it's going to be tough games. But I'm really looking forward to it. " Two X-factors - the fact that the Flyers haven't won in eight tries at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 20, 2011, and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist - likely will be swinging the action from Broad Street to Broadway.
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